Rock - The School of Hard Knocks

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Description: What happens when the average number of bullies at a school goes up? The mean increases.

It's another day in Taiyo. It might not be as rowdy as some places, but it's certainly not the kind of place where you can expect to see a quiet day very often.

Unfortunately for some people, today isn't any different.


It just so happens that in the hall leading to the gym, a certain red-haired student in a white-and-black jacket is getting shoved up against the wall by a larger student. It's not that the red-head is short, mind - he is a bit taller than the average japanese teen, perhaps - just the other guy is... *big*. As if getting pushed against the wall by a huge, meaty hand around his throat wasn't bad enough, the redhead's surrounded by two other students in leather jackets who clearly are there to accompany the much larger, thuggish student.

And he does already have skin reddened enough along his temple and cheek to suggest he's been punched a few times over prior to this.

"Didn't your momma tell you not to butt your head in business that ain't yours, huh?" The brute growls at the redhead, who just coughs in answer, first.

"Don't... have one..."

"Not what I asked!"

Regardless of wether or not that does actually answer his original question, the brute elects to punish the redhead for his exact wording by slamming a knee into his stomach hard enough to bring him coughing loudly in pain -- or as much as he can with the fingers still gripping around his neck.

So. This is Taiyo High.

He had asked Rock to give him a tour of the school a short while ago, which is pretty much what they're doing today, even if it is technically a school day. And, well, Jae Hoon notes that it is distinctly... almost /exactly/ like his school back in Korea, except for the obvious postings in Japanese, and the uniforms being different.

Well, it's not like he had been expecting something so extravagant, after all.

"I think I will like it here," he smiles as he says this to the Howard scion while they round a corner from the men's change room. The gym would probably be a place he would frequent often, if he isn't to be outside training during lunch hour or something, so the location is worth checking out regardless of his intentions. "I do hope the gym is a fair size. Does it have a weight room?"

The duo are some distance from a scrap, but brown eyes catch sight of it almost immediately. From where he's standing, it looks as though some red-headed fellow is being pummelled by dudes much larger than him. Welp. That certainly doesn't look like a fair fight!

"Hey, Rock," he catches the attention of his blonde friend with a slight nudge to his arm and a nod of his head in the direction of the entanglement. Jae Hoon is only slightly aware of the reputation the American has at this school, and he's not so sure it includes splitting up fights, but when justice needs to be served?

Sometimes, a reputation really doesn't matter.

"That guy looks like he needs some help. You good?"

He has so much to say. It's right there, on the tip of his tongue, just waiting to eke past the barrier of slightly parted lips. Rock inhales. Inhales deep...

Instead, he rubbernecks at some sort of altercation happening off to the side, efforts wasted on an, "Oh."

Jae will forever be left to wonder if there's a weight room here at Taiyo.

Sullen and serious, the American teen's rarely seen smile becomes a scowl, Rock's dark brows drawn together beneath the curtain of his blonde fringe. "That doesn't look good..." He mutters, observing briefly, soon changing direction. Know where those who pick on the weak belong? In traction!

No, his reputation doesn't much involve splitting up fights, because he's the type to step in and end them. Rock was never good with the talk. Jae Hoon's nudge earns a nod, "Yeah, I'm good to go. Three against one is pretty garbage odds." Combing messy sun-kissed strands out of sight, he's off like a shot.

Rock storms down the length of the hallway like a very angry, very dangerous wolf, his heavy footfalls heralding a world of pain, if they don't know what's good for them. This kid wasn't in the King of Fighters for nothing.

Isn't the ward of the legendary Terry Bogard for nothing.

Or called the 'Angel of Taiyo High' because of his pretty face and the golden halo that reflects off his hair.

"Oi!" Close, but an armlength away from the nearest brute, Rock levels them with a baleful stare, "I'll give you assholes a chance to reconsider punching this guy in the face, or else I'm gonna break alla yours." The Howard scion thumbs over to Jae, as no doubt the Korean boy is on his heels like some kind of Hero of Justice. "And if I let him help? A broken nose will be the least of your problems." Getting lectured by Kim Kaphwan's son is nothing to take lightly.

Spreading his arms as if to further encompass the situation they've found themselves in, those ruby red eyes turn to bore into the head of the lead thug, specifically, "What do you think? How many teeth would you like to swallow today?" The air around him is suffocating, oppressive. There's just something about this stuff that rubs Rock the wrong way, something reminiscent of Geese, battering his subordinates to the point where they can't even move.

Throwing his unconscious teenage heir off a goddamn tower.

It makes Rock absolutely sick.

The big brute doesn't react to the approach of Rock and Jae immediately. But his friends do. The bullish student apparently expects them to deal with the new interlopers, but...

"U-uh, hey, Kenji?" One of them is quick to whisper with a light tug given to the largest of the trio in further effort to bring his attention over.

And though Kenji does turn to look, and *clearly* recognize Rock, he doesn't let the red-haired boy go. Maybe he thinks he has a chance of being allowed to continue in the end. Maybe he's not fully registering everything right away due to lack of enough functioning braincells. Maybe he's just put into a shock state.

Whatever the case is, after Rock has fully stated the terms of the situation and the last question to Kenji in particular--

The fingers around the red-haired boy's neck loosen up and release him to slumping down along the wall down onto his rear on the floor.

"We, uh..." Kenji mumbles while turning to face Rock more fully, posture instinctively straightening out. "...We were just leaving." Is that a bead of sweat there on his brow?

Shooting off like a bullet, Jae Hoon trails quickly after Rock with surprising speed. The wolf ward arrives before he does, which is fine, because he's able to bring up the rear with an imposing enforcement to the warnings, because yes! A scolding from the son of Kaphwan is never a good time, and a warranted kick to the teeth makes it that much worse.

Not for /him/, of course.

It's nice, in a way, that he doesn't have to be the one to immediately convince the head-brute and his mini knuckle-heads to step down. Being the type to lecture, it is always refreshing when he's able to take a step back and be the support rather than the full enforcement. His strong sense of justice will always shine through when it is required, no matter the role he takes in that situation. However, his friend is able to capture the essence of what would happen should these guys refuse, so he is content providing backup should it be necessary.

And thankfully for /them/, they heed.

While Rock imposes his threat with the motions of body language, pools of earthy brown narrow dangerously as Jae sidles up beside him with hands firmly on his hips. "Glad to hear you're leaving. Get going before we change our minds."

Whether the group immediately departs or not, the Korean boy eventually turns on his heel so that he may kneel to the red-headed stranger and inspect him for wounds. From afar, there had been no denying the freshly forming bruise smearing itself across the guy's face, but if there are any other wounds, Jae takes note of them to report to a nurse, should that be where they end up taking him.

"Hey," he greets, a kind smile gracing his features. "You all right?"

Ha, Jae, like those punkasses are going to dawdle. Rock's handsome face contorts with the deepest loathing, and nobody wants any of that. Why would they? The trio understands, instinctually, that the Angel of Taiyo High may not be the type to kill someone, but he'd be pleased to show them what a person can LIVE THROUGH.

So it is that the last sneaker squeaks around the corner and out of sight. His vigilant, unblinking glare is no longer required. At once does the steel leave his spine and Rock exhales, the expulsion disturbing fair threads of hair. "The hell is wrong with some kids in this school?" Nobody respond, he doesn't expect an answer.

The Korean teen is the friendlier of the two, and he sees to the collapsed figure, crumpled in a heap on the floor. Rock isn't able to do much for the moment. He awkwardly folds his arms across his chest, the material of a white summer uniform shirt rustling in protest. Waiting, watching, the Howard scion then realises that he can't place the face of this individual. Must be another transfer student?

Once the red-headed boy has had his opportunity to gather whatever bearings he lost, or reply to Jae Hoon to confirm his good health and longevity, Rock levels this stranger with a stare not unlike the one he used during the previous confrontation. Pupils in their crimson pools narrow in scrutiny, but the aura that surrounds him is completely different. There's nothing intimidating about him now, the wolf revealed to be a spirited young pup in disguise.

It's undeniable how he takes matters such as these with the utmost seriousness, but Rock still sounds sympathetic as he says, "Sorry man, that wasn't a very warm welcome. Any idea why they decided to target you?" Not gonna lie, he can't think on their wavelength, so he honestly believes all bullying is backed by some kind of reason.

Could be as simple as a rough home life.

Ah, to be this naive.

"Yeah, just... class to get to, or... something..."

Somehow the notion that this particular trio is actually headed for academic pursuits doesn't seem very convincing.

"Ugh, I..." mumbles the red-head down on the ground once Jae has settled down to crouching near him, idly rubbing at his own throat.

"...I'm alive," he offers as answer, which... well, is still much better than the alternative, at least. He does cough from the strain that his throat was put through earlier, and when he wipes his hand over his lip, a bit of red is left behind on the skin of his knuckles.

"I saw them harrassing some other guy..." he offers in explanation to Rock then -- recognition clearly flaring up briefly in his green eyes when they look over the american. He might not have met him in person, but... reputation precedes him and all that.

"The, uh... negotiations didn't go as well as it did for you."

Well, from the blood smear on the stranger's hand, Jae Hoon has to wonder if there is some internal damage of sorts. He's no expert, but it's probably best to get this guy checked out by the school nurse - if Taiyo High even has one of those. Another thing he didn't ask Rock and likely should have. Meant he could act quicker.


The red-head is gathering his bearings somewhat, though. Enough that the Korean boy doesn't need to worry so much about whether the stranger would be able to take himself to the imaginary-infirmary (like I said, he forgot to ask!) should he need to.

"Glad they didn't mess you up too bad," Jae Hoon responds, a little relieved, but he's also on the same plane as Rock - just what warranted this attack on the poor fellow?

Hm. It seems today is the day that the young wolf pup is staying ahead of him, which would normally be more impressive if it weren't the fact that his blonde friend is the ward of the Legendary Wild Wolf. Studious and often on his toes, Jae Hoon keeps ahead of the game, but even he can be outsmarted or outwitted. In this case, Howard is easily able to get a jump on the question of why this guy was attacked, while also addressing the bruised-up teen with a hint of unfamiliarity. Jae notices it, says nothing on it, but keeps the exchange between these two at the backburner of his mind.

Seems like the Korean teen isn't the only newcomer to this school, judging by Rock's reaction, anyway. Cool!

With the disorientated boy's response comes the raise of black eyebrows - or, well, it probably only looks like one since the other is shielded behind a fringe, but you get what I mean. "Well, damn. I'm happy we were nearby and able to help." Jae Hoon thumbs in reference to himself and the Howard scion, then offers the same hand in a gesture of assistance. "Here - lemme help you up?"

Even if it's true that his not-so-thinly-veiled threats achieved the desired result without resorting to actual physical violence, to have it pointed out summons swift redness to both ears. Truly, there's shame that his golden yellow mop of hair is unable to hide it, and he's suddenly shy. The American boy rubs at the back of his neck sheepishly, "Yeah, er..." Rock doesn't tend to draw attention to his achievements, nor is he prone to reminiscence, but not a single person in this whole damn school would doubt WHY the trio of troublemakers backed off so fast.

Really kinda embarrassing to think about.

"Good on you for sticking up for someone else, though." Y'know, despite it completely backfiring.

Rock is similarly glad that the injuries sustained don't seem too severe, as he certainly isn't bothered by the sight of blood. Jae, how many people have you kicked into a full concussion to immediately jump to that conclusion? Yikes.

His friend picks up on those subtle social cues much faster than Rock himself, naturally adapting and taking the initiative to extend a hand to help the red-headed Japanese kid to his feet. That doesn't mean Geese Howard's detested teenage heir is slow, but he struggles with things like small talk, often led through dialogue exchanges by much more adept conversationalists. In some ways, a blessing, but also a curse...

For example? Rock debates just how appropriate it is to ask someone if they know how to fight.

And if it's appropriate, uh, would this guy happen to know how to fight WELL?

Maybe mention that the teachers WILL intervene?

But that could be offensive...

Oh god, what's the protocol here?!

Unable to decide, the blonde young man switches gears, "Name's Rock, by the way." Often what follows is an, 'I know'. It may not be the case today, because every now and then, someone comes along that doesn't give one single solitary shit about professional fighting, so all the more reason why he can't just assume his reputation precedes him.

Should he also introduce Jae Hoon? Searching crimson eyes seek brown. This isn't so much a silent plea for help and guidance, but to prevent himself from stepping on any toes.

Let's just say that he will, and Rock gives the Korean boy the floor. At the same time, his attention drifts back to the mystery individual. The expectation is unspoken, but with something to call the fallen one, maybe it might answer any other question bouncing around in his brain he's politely withholding. His expression starts to relax back into that trademark brood; it really does nothing to enhance his attractive looks.

Apparently the red-headed japanese boy isn't the type to be left into mistrust after getting faced with the earlier kind of treatment. For Jae's hand is reached up and taken hold of without hesitation as a leverage point to get him up off the floor and onto his feet--

Even if the proximity of the two makes his skin prickle some. It's the first day since his little development that he braved to come to school again. Part of him is already regretting it. His body still picks up on emotions of the people around him much too easily. The frustration with life that he could feel from the bully trio earlier even before they started channeling it into beating on him nearly made him feel sick.

"Oh, um--" Though recognition does clearly appear in his eyes even before Rock introduces himself, the boy apparently elects not to point that out, out of whatever fear of rudeness. Instead, dipping into a subtle bow to both of them.

"Kubo Daisuke," he offers, thus, staying in that leaned-over posture for a few seconds before straightening up... and wincing slightly from the motion. He must have gotten slammed against the wall harder than he realized.

But after, a brief look of discomfort crosses him that doesn't quite seem like it would match up with actual hurt, while he considers the crimson-eyed american. Daisuke's own green eyes look to him for a few seconds, and then glance off away, foot shuffling against the floor.

"... I'm sorry you had to intervene," he murmurs, thus, with a hand reaching up to rub at the back of his head through the mess of red hair there. "If I was any good at fighting I probably wouldn't have been that bad off..."

"And my name is Kim Jae Hoon. It's a pleasure." A bow for a bow, the Korean boy reciprocates with one that is short but respectful.

There's a smile as he straightens, which may be a subconscious attempt at soothing the anxieties Daisuke seems to be experiencing. A considerate kid by nature, Jae Hoon strives to ensure the comfort of the people around him, and as such, being as friendly as possible is one way he considers to be the most successful in achieving this goal. And since the newcomer seems a little uneasy, well... this disposition kind of comes out naturally.

So, he's attentive to red-haired teen's words, with brows twisting in mild concern. "Hey, there's no need to apologise," he assures with a slight wave of his hand. Jae then briefly turns to the Howard scion, bright like the morning sun. "We were just doing what you tried to do. No harm done here, right, Rock?"

"On that note, though - " he returns to Daisuke, " - if you want someone to train with you, I'd be more than happy to help you out. I'm not a professional by any means, but I'm pretty passionate about fighting and I've got some experience under my belt from working at my dad's dojang, so..."

Of course, he isn't going to sit here and claim all sorts of wondrous things about being some kind of master in the art of Tae Kwon Do or any other style, especially since he doesn't have a teaching certificate of any kind. The only point the youngest son of Kim Kaphwan can drive home is that he is fiercely studious, with a massive interest in all forms of martial arts, fighting styles, and the like.

Unlike his older brother. But that's besides the point, because this isn't about Dong Hwan right now.

Anyway, this hard-working attitude has rightfully earned the determined ward a place at his father's side, pretty well whenever the patriarch required help instructing his students, thus he really is no stranger to giving someone pointers on their technique, being a punching bag, or demonstrating different types of fighting moves, should they ask for it.

With his head tilting slightly over his shoulder, blue-black strands from his fringe trickling away to reveal the hidden brown orb underneath, Jae Hoon places his hands on the points of his hips. "All that aside. Even though I'm new here, don't hesitate to reach out."

Kubo Daisuke, you say? His brain is off to the races, searching far and wide in the space between his ears for any relevant information connected to that name. Rock recalls tournament brackets, sponsored events, League fights, even SNF...

Unfortunately, it doesn't take long to peruse all of those stores of knowledge, exhausting his options quicker than anticipated. The Howard scion... has nothing. A blank. That's kinda weird, not gonna lie. Nobody is ever this anonymous...

I mean, for all Rock knows, Daisuke could be a master practitioner of Jeet Kune Do? Or just another mundane in a superpowered society?

Both seem unlikely, and to either end of two extremes. From what little Rock is able to discern in his first impression, perhaps some kind of... middle of the road? Maybe? Definitely...?

Oh well, does it matter? Whatever the case, this business is not his, and it's not in his nature to pry. Rock gathers his curiosity and gently suppresses any connected lingering thoughts. He moves on, in his head. Only seconds have passed in reality, but it feels as if he's left the Japanese kid hanging for an eternity. "Kubo, then."

Bowing happens, but not the usual sloppy affair seen in most foreigners. The blonde American even seems aware of how to address those who are unfamiliar to him. It's a testament to how much time he's spent in Japan, completely immersed in their culture...

If Daisuke wants to call him 'Rock', however? That's fine. Things work differently in reverse.

Pushing his sun-kissed hair out of sight is an exercise in futility, as it works against every effort to tame it. Messy and framing the hard lines of his face, they drift back into view. Rock...


Was there an apology, just now?

Frowning. Deep frowning. "Look--"

But whatever he wanted anyone to look at, we'll never know.

Jae Hoon doesn't interrupt him -- it was actually the other way around, or just about. He listens to what his Korean friend has to share, then the prompting earns what is a small nod. Does... does Rock need to verbalise an answer? No? Okay.

Suddenly, the broody teenager's expression budges by a fraction. Could be he'll turn his frown upside-down. "You know, that sounds like a really good idea, Jae." To lend approval to the generous offer, Rock adds while addressing Kubo, "Training with him, you're bound to improve. He's pretty serious about this, and Jae's been taught by the best in Taekwondo." Yet there is no offer to assist from Geese's wayward son...

Is it ego?

The thought he could ground the red-head into paste?

No. Daisuke is empathetically aware. Rock is like a candle that has been extinguished, and everything... grows dark.

The consideration Rock gives Daisuke, the referencing of memory banks-- for better or worse, the red-head himself can feel little hints of it all. It makes him feel akward, both out of feeling self-conscious about his own abilities, and...

Well. Frankly, this particular sense is something he just isn't used to yet. Even when the things he feel aren't borne of negative emotions around him, every single thing the empathic sense picks up is like a needle driven into him. The difference is in just wether the particular needle is just a plain metal one or covered in barbs and laced with acid. And as much as he makes the effort to hide it, it isn't entirely pushed away. At least it may just come across as social awkwardness more than anything else, unless Jae Hoon or Rock may be able to put things together on there being something more to it.

Not to mention that there is something else he does have to hide, directly related to Rock's own thoughts and the offer Jae provides.

"Oh, um..." The redhead does look a bit surprised to have the korean teen offering such a thing to him, and he flashes a small, akward smile back over to him. "I do have someone else trying to beat me up into shape, truth be told," he confesses. But rather than letting that be a complete denial for the offer, he lets out a low hum in thought, while considering Jae Hoon himself, and then elects to add in, "... She might relish the chance to spar with you too, come to think of it." The thought of Sendo's eyes practically lighting up the moment Jae would recite his portfolio crosses his own mind quickly. Not to mention the potential for how she may react to meeting *Rock*, for that matter.

But speaking of Rock, though. Daisuke can't help but peek sidelong to the american.


It's the most strange sensation he gets from the Howard scion. It's not as sharp as some of the other things he's picked up from people, but... it's unsettling. For more than one reason.

One of them being that it feels much too *familiar*.

"Um, I'm sorry, but..." He eventually murmurs out while his head turns to fully settle both of his emerald eyes onto the other boy, with a subtle pursing of his lips.

"Is everything... alright?"

The question is kept purposefully vague. It'd not exactly be easy to explain the *exact* reason why he's asking that, afterall.

Hm. Kubo seems... distracted? No. That's not the right descriptor.

There's something about his general body language here that screams discomfort, but Jae Hoon can't quite put his finger on what is causing it. Social awkwardness is definitely a thing, but... is there more to it? Maybe the shorter teen just isn't good with people, which is not something the youngest Kim is unfamiliar with, by any means.

It's probably something much deeper than what Jae is reading into, but he also doesn't know Daisuke from a hole in the wall, so it's difficult to ascertain any sort of understanding as to why there is this sense of secrecy.

Ah well. This Korean boy isn't one to pry, so he leaves it at that, and instead offers himself up as a helpful service. "No pressure from me. Just let me know at any point if you want my help."

What he doesn't really expect though, is for Rock to... stay quiet? Well, wait. The wolf ward is often someone who hangs in the background should he not know who he's addressing. What Jae Hoon means to say is that, by all accounts, his friend is /more/ than capable of teaching and sparring with someone. The guy is powerful. Probably way more powerful than himself. He'd have to be in order to participate in the King of Fighters tournament, after all.

So... why isn't he saying anything about that?

Why isn't Rock putting an offer forward?

In the memory banks of his mind, the Korean fighter is able to recall, somewhat briefly, that in many of the tournaments, competitions, and other such events as of late, there is always a contender missing that he fully expects to be there.

His friend. Rock Howard.

Putting two and two together isn't hard, after that point.

Lithe body straightening somewhat stiffly, deep-brown irises turn onto Rock now, not able to suppress their surprise. Maybe it can be chalked up to the generous support of his assistance, or perhaps it can be interpreted as a response to Kubo's incredible ability to vocalise concern over the well-being of basically a stranger. However, that is all fine. Daisuke is well within his rights.

To someone who has known Howard for the entirety of their teenage lives, though, Jae Hoon cannot help but feel utterly dumbfounded and confused. Stunned, even.

However, he knows better than to ask the source directly, so he shakes the bewilderment off and settles into a stance that is more relaxed. The last thing he wants is for the sun-kissed scion to suspect him of potential inquiry. He does remain curious if his friend will answer Kubo, though, but in his mind, he also wonders...

Because, well, Rock is not fighting.


Time to just sit here and meta, hey?

The Howard kid is always thinking one thing or another. From missing all of Daisuke's peculiarities as he attempts to determine the Japanese boy's place in the great wide world, to a realisation that very suddenly, he became the centre of attention. Rock absolutely hates it. A sidelong glance, Jae's surprise... His shoulders round in, and crimson eyes shift their focus away from the scene in front of him.

There's a rigidness in his body language, his posture. Lines of tension start to appear along the sharp jawline, molar ground against molar. When combined together, it begs a question, 'Can we just move on?' Rock isn't sure what he's done to attract any notice. Was what he said really that odd? Why not go back to setting up that friendly spar?

Or is it his unguarded thoughts that draw moth to flame, whether they were read outright by a telepath or perceived through subtle shifts in his expression?

In trying to decide how he wound up here, and what he can do to change that, his thoughts rush like a river. The teenage heir earns further scrutiny, until eventually, he's pinned by a voice of concern in regards to his current status. Wha? Rock seems confused, because yo, he's not the one to be worried about! The American teen's okay, isn't he? He looks fine and feels fine, for the most part.

That's all it takes for the shroud of darkness to dissipate, as if knowing it had been spotted. Rock is oblivious, however. Both that such an emptiness had ever existed, and this isn't the first time the heartthrob of Taiyo High has encountered an empath...

Crap, he's zoning out! Schooling the expression into what is hopefully not some slack-jawed gape, Rock says, "Yeah..." The pause isn't meant for dramatic effect, but to shake things off, quite literally. His fair head bobs, the golden halo of hair soon more dishevelled than before. "Yeah, I'm all right."

"Do you need to go to the nurse or anything?" For all of his introspection, Rock didn't miss that wince earlier. "A back injury is nothing to mess with." Having experienced taking the full brunt of a skylight and the surface of a swimming pool with his spine, the ward of the Legendary Wild Wolf knows you don't just play off that kind of pain. Seriously, Geese could've killed him.

Should've killed him.

Rock, please ask your brain and feelings to turn off for a bit.

The way Rock's introspection seems to work - or what Daisuke can pick up of it anyway - ends up drawing a briefly more-obvious look of concern from the red-headed student. But then--

Then that strange sensation he was picking up just disappears. Daisuke's green eyes blink rapidly at the american boy a few times over, seeming genuinely *confused* for a moment. Not that he is allowed to voice that confusion in any way or form. So the only option he really has left is to at least outwardly take Rock at his word.


Not that he actually *sounds* entirely convinced.

It doesn't help that whatever actual signal the one particular passing thought hidden behind the simple question of wether or not he needs to see the nurse prompts the redhead to shuffle one foot back slightly in an instinctive retreat away from the american. Possibly without even realizing that much himself.

"U-uh... No, I... I think I am okay..." He claims, while drawing his hand over behind himself to rub at the small of it, smiling akwardly at all. "Weird as it sounds, I think I've had worse than this before, you know?"

Well, that certainly doesn't paint a very generous picture of his ability to keep himself from getting hurt, does it?


He straightens up some, only to turn to dipping into a subtle bow again, aimed for the both of them. "Thank you for your help, again--" And when he comes up from the bow again, his eyes sweep to Jae specifically, offering the koreean teen a bit more genuine smile at that point.

"I think it may do good for me," he tells him, in reference to teh earlier offer. "And like I said, I think my friend would enjoy the opportunity, too. As long as, uh... You don't have anything against folks from Gorin..." BEcause apparently a lot of people here *do*, for some reason or another. Not as much as with kids from Gedo, but still. The sense of rivalries between the schools is a pretty strong one with some.

Yeah, okay, Rock. That's not really all that convincing.

But, naturally, Jae Hoon shifts his expression to make it appear as though he believes it. Cause he toooootally does not.

Anyway, he can relate to Daisuke, in that some infirmary visits aren't entirely warranted. Not all injuries need the attention of a nurse, and if the Japanese teen thinks he is best served to let things be, well. No sense forcing it, even if he himself is a little bit worried.

"All right. You know your body best, man."

As the conversation starts to wind down to a close, with Kubo confirming the desire to engage in personalised training, the Korean fighter realizes that there would be a point where they need to exchange contact information. The only downside to being new to town is that he has zero familiarity with the facilities where sparring could be done. Thankfully, he has full intentions to talk with Terry about those resources, outside of whatever info dumps Rock can give him.

There's other concerns on his mind, too. Things that can't be brought directly to the young ward, reserved solely for the Legendary Wild Wolf.

This is all for another time, however.

Instead, he considers the red-head's vocalised anxieties for a moment, darkened fringe settling back down over his face as he recalls the time he'd spent researching schools in Southtown to select for candidacy. Of course, he'd gone with Taiyo based on familiarity, but he had come across other names in the listings before making his choice. What he isn't aware of is this apparent beef Daisuke is alluding to. Did these schools have some sort of rivalry going on?

Whatever it is, he has no clue about it, so how can he discriminate?

"I'm a newly transferred student, so if there's some sort of troubled relationship between these schools, I don't know about it. I really think it makes no difference if your friend is from another school, anyway. If you both want to improve, then I'm here to help." Jae genuinely smiles. "Why don't we meet up after school today and we can exchange contact information?"

Regardless of what Daisuke responds with, the lithe form rotates slightly so that he is able to gently touch Rock's upper arm. A way to get his attention, should he be lost in his thoughts. "If everything's cool, then should we get going?"

Wow. Who needs enemies or a bad father when you've got a friend like Kim Jae Hoon? >:(

Every word was so convincing, dude, you don't even know.

Rock's... just great. Fantastic. Phenomenal. Sure, he's got shit, but so does everyone, right?

The weight of his own expectations aren't crushing him or anything, not at all.

Not. At. All.


Okay, both of these guys won't buy what the Howard scion is selling, but as he is with the problems that are none of his business, Rock doesn't foist the burden of his woes onto another. He moves on, as should they.

Daisuke retreats one step, his behaviour definitely deemed strange. Really, it'd make sense if Rock had threatened to haul the shorter red-head off his feet and personally escort him to the infirmary, but that didn't happen. Is this the precursor to a lie's admittance? Or maybe, the American reasons, Kubo actually isn't as injured as he thought. Could be that he's far more sturdy than initially given credit for...

Well, that's fine, too. Rock's in full agreement with Jae, and he's done his part. His responsibility to the situation is over.

Even their interaction has almost reached that point...

A slight rise of the eyebrow denotes piqued interest. For a second time, the Japanese boy shares the thought that perhaps his friend - a FEMALE friend, I must add - would find the challenge of Jae Hoon quite thrilling. If the opportunity presents itself, Rock considers asking to join as a spectator. He even makes a mental note of it, in the forefront of his mind.

This is good for Jae, after all.

Not that the Korean teen has requested any sort of sparring match from the broody wolf pup, but in case he had been thinking about it...

Oh, turns out someone wants his attention. That Kim Jae Hoon person, just as he thought about him. It's always a trip when there's sudden physical contact that isn't meant to be violent. Crimson eyes flash in a rapid succession of blinks before understanding dawns on his handsome face. "Damn, we were in the middle of a tour, and I think you were gonna ask me something?" Or did ask him, but for the life of him, Rock can't recall what it was...

"Pretty sure we'll see you again, Kubo." Likely very soon, in fact. Before they go, should he urge caution regarding Daisuke's penchant for leaping in to play hero if it'll result in an ass-kicking? N..nah. Rock has a niggling feeling that even if he did, the uninvited advice would not be heeded. "Take it easy?" He exudes awkwardness. It's an awkward party!

Once Jae Hoon is ready to join him, the blonde Angel of Taiyo High starts to leave.

Log created on 21:27:08 04/18/2021 by Rock, and last modified on 18:08:42 05/15/2021.